5 of Restaurants' Dirtiest Secrets You'll Wish You Didn't Know (VIDEO)

Say What!? 7

bread basketOnce upon a time we all heard gross stories about restaurant kitchens every so often, but no one talked about it much. Oh sure, there were inspectors who'd come by and make sure restaurant were up to snuff. Sometimes a diner would get horribly ill. But for the most part, it was a lovely ignorance-is-bliss paradise, where we all just pretended nothing horrible was going on behind those kitchen doors. Because, you walked out of Shakey's Pizza alive, didn't you? All right then!

Well, that golden age is over. Now we're living in the Information Age! And that means we kind of DO know what's going on in restaurant kitchens. And we're thinking about it more. And... (shudder). I think sometimes we almost wish we didn't. Take this 20/20 gross-out expose on restaurant kitchens. Here's a handful of dirty restaurant secrets I'm glad I know now -- but also kind of wish I didn't know.

Maybe don't eat the bread in the basket. Supposedly that bread travels -- from another table, and another, and another. I don't know how common this is, but I it makes me appreciate those restaurants that send out fresh, hot bread. Also: Another reason to avoid carbs?

Check the bathroom first. Before you order, check out the restrooms. If they're gross, if the toilet paper is out, if it's dirty, if there's no soap, you may want to make other dinner plans. I know bathrooms can get a little messy during a rush, but imagine a cook going in there... and then coming back out to cook your food.

Be careful ordering fish. Supposedly some restaurants sell some not-so-fresh fish. Beware the fish "special" that looks too cheap to be true. Most fish-serving restaurants can get fresh deliveries daily, but it's still smart to ask when the fish on the menu was caught.

Handle your own doggie bag. More and more restaurants are just handing you some takeout containers at the end of your meal instead of packing your food for you. It saves them time and hassle -- but it's also safer for you, too, not to send your food back to be handled any which way.

Kitchens can be filthy in so many ways. Apparently having sex in the kitchen is a thing. Sex in the pantry, sex in the freezer, sex wherever you can get away with it. I don't know... something tells me most restaurant cooks are working to hard to mess around like that. BUT there seems to be an abundance of filth in restaurant kitchens all over the country. And! Restaurant employees apparently can't put their damn phones down for a minute.

Dining in New York City is pretty safe. Here's at least one city you can count on. Reportedly, 75 percent of Big Apple restaurants get an "A" rating on their inspections now. So look for those letter grades the next time you're visiting here.


How safe do you feel eating out?


Image via uberculture/Flickr

eating out, restaurants


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Vegeta Vegeta

I work for a company that involves me seeing the kitchen areas of several restaurant chains. And there are quite a few that I DID used to eat at that I will NEVER EVER eat at again. Like counting paper money on top of lettuce and then scooping up the lettuce to make someone's salad, and keeping bug zappers (with dead bugs on them) on the counter where food is prepared. I'm all for the 3 second rule but these places make me wana hurl.

mommy... mommy2annaliese

I worked at Gigis cupcakes recently, they charge outrageous amounts for a tiny cupcake with a shitton of frosting, and the stuff they did back there OMG! *GAG*  I feel sorry for people who eat their cupcakes.

I no longer work there and wouldn't step foot in the place. I'm sure the health department would love to know that they should though, and corperate..

Megankae Megankae

I used to work at Polly's Pies, and none of that happened at ours.

But I know our resturant was not how everyone else functioned.

tuffy... tuffymama

Dear Lord! I guess NYC really IS a cesspit. DH and I have worked restaurants and catering for YEARS, and I've never seen anything like what you describe. Maybe this is just what happens in cities where rats outnumber people? Ugh. I know of one restaurant where CUSTOMERS had sex in the bathrooms. DH's restaurant has a no phones policy for their employees. Those kids use phones on their breaks, only. They're not even technically allowed to smoke on breaks because there's no place to do it. It's fine dining, though. Perhaps that's the difference?

nonmember avatar April

I worked as a hostess at Denny's as a teenager. The process to make your side salad? Reach in the bin with bare hands and scoop some out. Of course, this was after handling your tips, dirty dishes, etc etc. The same went for the toppings of the salad, the lemon for your tea or water. My DH cooked there years ago and said he saw cooks drop steaks on the floor and then pick them up and toss them back on the grill to "kill germs". I no longer eat at Denny's

Trish Deck

I worked in food service for 4 years.  There was never any sex anywhere that I knew of (and you know the wait staff can't keep their mouths shut, gossip travels faster in food service!!) Our fish wasn't fresh, so that wasn't an issue and the bread was NEVER served again.  I saw a cook take a sweet potatoes that he dropped on the floor and put it on a plate for me to give MY guest.  F that - I reported him.  You know who eats most sweet potatoes?  Small children and babies. That floor was nasty as hell and you know good and well that a sweet little baby would have been sick as a dog - or worse - if I had taken that to the table.  I told the manager, reminded him of the food safety nightmares and the cook was fired the next day.  I felt bad for the firing, but not really that much.  We had one of the busiest restaurants in the area, that floor was so gross.  I have no doubts that the child could have died from the germs on that potato. Dude knew better and he knew I had seen him pick it up.

rhps2000 rhps2000

I heard that most Mexican restaurants use a huge tortilla chips bin and dump all the chips leftover from tables back into it. I hope it's not true since Mexican food is my favorite, but it's possible. :(

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